Posts Tagged ‘shelves’

We’re finally getting to the point where cleaning is actually just normal cleaning, not a retroactive major clean-up of leftover construction dust or months-neglected debris from the renovation. The house is really starting to feel sort of finished. There are lots of little projects left to do, like sanding, caulking and painting all the trim, but we’ve taken care of some of the major eyesores.

Nick cleared out the sleep loft–took all the boxes and bins we were storing up there down to the basement storage heap instead. Then he scraped up all the spray-foam insulation that was stuck to the plywood floor of the loft. We plan on laying down the ash wood we never used for Sadie’s room up here to give the loft a finished feel. Our house is so small that hosting guests without a dedicated guest space could be difficult, so we’re hoping guests won’t mind sleeping in the loft. Currently, it can only be reached by a rickety old painter’s ladder. We searched online for a ship’s ladder, which would be perfect, but discovered that they cost several hundred dollars, even when you buy used ones. So we asked our neighbor, carpenter Ben, if he could make us one, but he doesn’t have time since he and his wife started their catering business (helpful plug: Bazkari Catering). Nick’s dad is coming next week for a visit, and we’re going to give him the choice of climbing up to the loft and sleeping on a futon mattress or camping out in the library/sewing room/kids’ room on an air mattress.

The other little job involved finally putting up our bathroom shelves. Slowly but surely, we’re making progress. The latest on the bathroom tile is that contractor Ben won’t get a chance to work with the tile mason until sometime after May 5, when he gets back from visiting his fiance in India. So, we’re still roughing it to a degree, but more and more it’s feeling like home. I think the longer daylight hours definitely help. I can actually see when I get home from work, so I feel motivated to work on projects or clean things up instead of letting things pile up until the weekend.

And finally, our little spell of warm weather got me thinking about plants. My mom and I went to the garden show a couple of weekends ago, and then,  since I don’t know a hydrangea from a watering can, I went to the library to check out books on plants and gardening. I’d like to get a dozen plants for the deck to give it more the feel of a plein air room than a deck, so it’s a place we’ll wander in and out of like any other room in the house. In particular, we want to get a trellis with climbing vines of some sort to park right in front of the wall of the neighboring condo building so we aren’t looking at plain green siding all summer. Some flower boxes for the railings, a few pieces of outdoor furniture, and voila, we’ll have our little piece of the great outdoors. Unfortunately, we’re supposed to wake up to snow tomorrow morning, so I have no idea when any of the planting and landscaping is actually going to happen.

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Do we have news for you! We’ve finally put the shelves up in the kitchen. Leon, our trusty electrician-turned-apprentice carpenter, used his laser level and mad skillz to get our shelving up perfectly straight and even. (I can’t find our camera memory card so had to take yet another iPhone photo–apologies.) I was a little dubious when I first saw the photos that Nick sent to me at work, but in person the shelves really look good. No more walking around the corner to the pantry for a bowl or a plate! I’m happy to report, too, that our dishes are pretty nice looking, and I’m not embarrassed at all to have them out on display.

Of course, we still need to paint the kitchen, a task that just got more difficult now that we don’t have empty walls to work with, but we never seem to find the time to paint, and can’t keep putting off the other things we need to do until that magical day when we’re able to block off a whole day for painting.

In other news, I made the executive decision last week to hire a cleaning person to really give our house the good, post-reno cleaning it needed, particularly of the floors. Our new wooden floors had been subject to workmen boots for weeks, and though I’ve vacuumed plenty, I kept waiting for the reno work to really be done before I got down on my hands and knees to scrub the floor. A good scrubbing is what it needed, too–no mop was going to do the job.

Unfortunately, the cleaning team I hired, a mother-daughter duo on the recommendation of another cleaning service that was too booked to offer us a one-time clean, didn’t quite get the job done. The house was clean when I got home–vacuumed, tidied, and the stove, sinks, and bathtub were all sparkling–but the floors were no better than when I left them this morning. Apparently, I didn’t specify that I was looking for elbow grease, not a wet mop. I’m a little bummed out because the whole reason I hired someone was to do the hard labor of scrubbing floors. Argh.

But the house looks good, nice enough that it motivated Nick and I just a little bit more to clean and organize. I guess for that reason alone, the cleaning team was worth the cost.

Okay, not quite. I really wanted those floors clean.

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